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We understand some days in your life are extra special. We really do. And we appreciate that few, if any, are more important than your wedding day. You want to know it’s in safe, capable, passionate hands. As many of our hotels are licensed for civil ceremonies, we’re also happy to host your actual wedding as well as your reception. Whatever your choice, when you get hitched, we’ll make sure your special day goes without a hitch. That’s a Hallmark promise.

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Five reasons to take the kids to Shakespeare’s birthplace in the Easter holidays


Located in the heart of England and surrounded by beautiful countryside, Stratford-upon-Avon is a quintessentially English town full of culture and history. Internationally renowned as the birthplace of the Bard himself, the historical town is the perfect place to visit with children during the Easter Holidays. Here are five reasons why you should book a break in the area:

1. The Five Shakespeare Houses

These beautifully preserved Tudor homes and gardens are all directly linked to Shakespeare and his family. Visit the house in which Shakespeare was born, raised, and continued to live in with Anne Hathaway for the first five years of their marriage. Walk in the footsteps of some of the world’s greatest writers, including Charles Dickens, John Keats and Walter Scott to name a few; all have paid homage to the Bard by visiting his home.

2. The Royal Shakespeare Company

The world-famous theatre group has performed Shakespearean plays alongside the River Avon since the 19th century. The site is pram-friendly with baby changing facilities in all the ladies' toilets. The Royal Shakespeare Company puts on lots of free daily activities for families to discover, including dress up and mask making. You can choose to explore the site at your own pace by picking one of the free interactive tours for your children. Take advantage of their discounted family passes that allow you and your children to enjoy the day for less.

3. Warwick Castle

The town of Stratford-upon-Avon is home to history that spans further back than Shakespeare. Originally built by William the Conqueror, nearby Warwick Castle has created an adventure park for children alongside this historical landmark. The castle is houses the Horrible Histories "Adventure Maze" for children. Explore with your children through six history zones, from Vikings to the First World War. The River Avon runs through the grounds making it the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic amidst the adventures.

4. Butterfly Farm

The town of Stratford-upon-Avon really has everything for children. Pay a visit to Tramway Walk to see Europe's largest butterfly farm and take a brief escape from the literary wonders of the town. Here you and your children can see some of the world's most colourful butterflies. Learn about the life cycle of a butterfly in the Discovery Zone and get up close to some of the world's largest caterpillars, chrysalis, silk moths, exotic butterflies and other mini-beasts. This is a great day out for children of all ages. There are educational packs for groups, wildlife shows and an adventure playground for children to enjoy. The farm is also home to other animals for children to learn about. From tropical birds to reptiles, spend the day learning about wildlife with your children wandering through this miniature rainforest in the heart of the English countryside.

5. The River Avon

After a few fun-packed days running around the spectacular attractions of Stratford-upon-Avon, you will all be pleased for some relaxing family time. The River Avon provides an idyllic backdrop within a paradise of green countryside. Head to the waterside in the heart of the town for a day of enjoyment and memories. Here you can hire rowing boats or small motor boats to explore the 16th century Tudor town by water, floating downstream at your own pace. As the evening draws in, jump aboard a cruise boat for scenic evening dinner. Visit Stratford-upon-Avon this Easter and stay at our stunning Hallmark Hotel, The Welcombe. Located a short stroll from the excitement of the town but secluded within 157 acres of landscaped grounds, The Welcombe is the perfect place to spend Easter with the family. One of our most sought after hotels, the building was built 150 years ago, and is a display of beautiful 19th Century neo-Jacobean architecture.

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